Making the Tooth Fairy’s Job Easier One Pillow at a Time

I had a special pillow with a pocket to hold my lost baby teeth when I was little, so when Finn lost his first tooth, I made him one, too.

I didn’t realize just how much easier it made it for the Tooth Fairy until my nephew lost his first tooth. The story my brother told of how difficult it was for the Tooth Fairy to retrieve a tooth that was actually under the pillow my nephew was sleeping on was so amusing that I almost didn’t want to make pillows for my niece and nephew. I finally decided to have mercy on the Tooth Fairy and make pillows for them. I also made one for Beckett, because his teeth should start falling out soon and I certainly don’t want our local Tooth Fairy to have to go through all that.

I thought about making some to list in my Etsy shop. There is so much to customize, though, that I’ve decided it would be easier to take orders for them here. If you are interested and would like more information, contact me through the form at the right or at csloan@subearthancottage.com.

How to not need paper towels in a house full of messy creatures

Relying on paper towels to clean up spill after spill stinks. Sure, it’s not so eco-friendly, but, even more immediately distressing to me, at least, is it’s practically throwing money away.

There’s always the option of buying a huge supply of kitchen towels and cloth napkins, but the initial cost of buying enough to keep up with a toddler’s destructive capabilities is off-putting to say the least. Retiring old clothes, sheets, etc. to rags is a viable and frugal option, not to mention you’re upcycling (or is it recycling? or repurposing?). I don’t really mind just using scraps as rags, but I prefer something a little more aesthetically pleasing, especially if guests are involved.

There’s also the convenience factor to consider. I have limited storage space, so devoting a kitchen drawer or part of a cabinet to hold all the towels isn’t practical. Neither is a basket on the counter, because counter space is even more limited.

Here’s my solution. First, I cut up any appropriate worn fabric (t-shirts, flannel sheets, old bath towels, anything soft and absorbent) to whatever size I want. I started with something close to paper towel size but then started cutting some smaller to make more use of the fabric. Then I serged the edges to make them pretty. You could also do a zig-zag, overcast stitch or even just a straight stitch a little in from the edge on a sewing machine. If you are really ambitious you could do a real hem. I’m going for nice but quick to do in bulk. Any edge finishing is unnecessary for t-shirt knits, but they will be more durable being finished. Wovens like flannel will need something to keep them from fraying.

For the storage, I made a hanging tube similar to a plastic bag dispenser. If you have one of those around it will probably work perfectly. If not, there are tons of tutorials for them floating around, but the basic design is a tube of fabric with a handle at the top and elastic at the bottom to tighten the opening enough to keep the towels/bags from falling out. This solves my lack of space problem because I can hang it anywhere and it’s as easy as pulling a paper towel off a roll. They stay in and dispense better if I just shove them in the top without folding them, so no extra laundry folding time.

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This was my quick nap-time prototype. I made it out of half a t-shirt. You can easily make one out of any fabric to match your décor.

I also made a little tote bag to hang in the kitchen to put the dirty towels in. Unless clean something really gross or are soaking wet, there’s no real reason to keep them separate from the rest of the laundry, though.

Since making these, I have almost eliminated my need for paper towels. I do try to keep a roll on hand in case the cat does something gross because eww. I have to hide it, though, to keep other people from reaching for them out of habit.

If you need some heavier cleaning cloths, double up the fabric. To use up smaller scraps of flannel, finish the edges of squares as small as a couple of inches to use in place of cotton balls.

Time to kill

With toddlers, you have to give yourself extra time to get even the simplest things accomplished. The flip side, though, is that too much extra time can be even worse.

For example: Today Beckett had his eighteen month checkup at 11 am. In order for me to have the car, we all needed to be ready to leave the house by 7:30 am. Beckett woke up at 5:30 am. (Too much extra time!)

After getting everyone dropped off, I decided to go home and get the things we needed for the doctor’s appointment and pick up our ancient modem to switch out with a new one from our cable company so we wouldn’t have to do it in evening traffic. The cable office isn’t exactly close or on the way to the doctor’s office, traffic is still iffy with construction, and I figured it might not be an in-and-out thing, so we left close to 9 am. It only took about fifteen minutes to get there and about two minutes to switch the modems.

We spent another five minutes going up and down a set of three steps in front of the cable office while I debated going back home or heading in the direction of the doctor’s office. I chose the doctor’s office.

There is a library with a great children’s section near the doctor’s office, which is good because by the time we made it there it wasn’t even 10 am. We hung out at the library for as long as I could keep Beckett children’s library quiet and leave the library with the majority of books not on the floor.

We ended up at the doctor’s office at 10:25 am. Not too bad at first glance, especially since they are usually great about getting us in on time. The waiting room was fairly empty, so I thought they might even get us in a little early.

We were finally called back at 11:30. The doctor saw us at noon, and the nurse gave him his vaccines at 12:15. Then, because some vaccines were new to him, we got to hang out in the waiting room for another fifteen minutes to watch for reactions.

The upsides are that it could have been waaaaay worse in the behavior department, and that having a young toddler awake for seven hours straight and then get vaccinated pretty much guarantees a good nap. I won’t be getting much done during naptime, though. I’m about exhausted from toddler juggling (does it count as juggling if there’s only one?), and I would be surprised if Beckett isn’t Mr. Crankypants in need of mommy cuddles for the rest of the evening.

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Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 16

— 1 —

I think Beckett decided to help out around the house more now that he’s a big one year old. Yesterday he dumped out all the cloth wipes to find the perfect one to wipe the floor with. He also decided to help me clean out the fridge. Fun times.

— 2 —

Something akin to the plague seems to be going around. Chris and Finn had it a few weeks ago, I had it last weekend and poor B was feverishly tossing and turning and coughing most of last night.

— 3 —

Some mornings require coffee before you can think clearly enough to make a cup of coffee. Luckily Chris was sweet enough to make a pot before we left for drop-offs this morning.

— 4 —

I just realized that between the Valentine’s for the kids, birthday cake and sick baby we completely forgot to have Beckett open his birthday presents. #TotalMomFail

— 5 —
Due to the plague, I decided to be lazy and just pick up a little cake from Kroger. I found one that met my birthday cake requirements of being a white cake with buttercream frosting. Hmmm, does that look like white cake to you….
Shares his mommy’s feelings on chocolate birthday cake.
— 6 —

Gratuitous baby picture.

— 7 —

Have a great weekend and go get some half-priced chocolates. I’ll take them if you don’t need them. 😉

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!